Played quite a bit of Splatoon today. Got into one of those moods where I just needed to escape and have a bit of fun. Not a bad mood, just had way too much on my mind. When the world gets boring and stressful I dig even deeper into my games to stay grounded. Splatoon is such a great game to play to snap out of any mood so I embraced it. The movement is snappy, the Inklings are smug, and it’s extremely colourful. I just love feeling like a confident squid kid.
I had some mixed results with the Berry Splattershot Pro. There’s just a weird feeling to it where the shots FEEL like they don’t have much power, but there’s always enough to splat someone. Compared to the close range weapons I normally use, it just shoots slower. It’s almost impossible to actually see the rate of fire, but I can just feel it after so much experience with the game. Rather than the actual stats being the reason I struggle, I think the lack of confidence in the feel is the reason. Of course the advantage of the Pro is its range. Thinking back on my session, most of my awkward moments were close-up where I was perhaps disadvantaged, and almost all my kills were long range, when I actually used the strength of the weapon. All those kills felt “lucky” when in fact that’s what I should be doing more often. My play style is strongly biased towards close-range weapons because I just can’t help but dive in and take risks. To balance that weakness, I’ve been trying to use longer range weapons just to make myself less predictable and see the stage with a better eye. It’s definitely working, and I’ve even had some great games with the Pro between the lines of frustration.
I was fired up now and feeling pretty good, so I switched to the Heavy Splatling Deco. I love using this weapon because it’s on the extreme end of the scale in terms of range, and also packs a huge punch up close. The difficulty comes from timing and positioning, and forcing this weapon charge up restriction is another way to improve your squid senses, because you have to think 3 seconds ahead. 3 seconds in squid movement is a huge chunk of the stage, so this weapon requires a pretty big eye. Close combat can be difficult but if you have a shot charged up as you walk around a corner, you’re unstoppable. Assuming you don’t walk into a Splash Wall of course.
I took a break from harshly judging myself in battle after a fun exchange with an Inkbrush user. A level 8 squid boy from Japan was doing a surprisingly good job, only averaging 0-2 kills but painting over 1000p of Turf with some good awareness. Unfortunately we ended up cornered in our base when a teammate disconnected, but that’s when we became friends. I threw a Sprinkler and started squid dancing because we may as well have some fun while getting destroyed. The Inkbrush user said “Nice!” and joined in. We had a great time squidding up and down a grate, near the spawn point of Urchin Underpass. Quite risky to squid wiggle up there without falling through, but it made our squid dancing look hilariously unnatural and we said “Nice!” again.
For the first half of the game, I was trying hard to win. A 3 vs 4 match is not inevitable doom, and I normally relish these opportunities to create a story out of an epic win. I’ve had a large handful over my Splatoon career and it feels great to overcome the odds. However this match was just not happening and I didn’t care enough about the result, so the squid party raged on.
The third player on our team, a level 50 Japanese charger player, joined in after noticing what we were doing with about 20 seconds to go. They had their own Sprinkler, and now we were squid dancing under two Sprinklers, laid on the wall next to each other. It looked like two crying eyes above the flat expression of the grate. Our bonding turned the Sprinkler’s sorrowful tears into joyous ones. We had a lot of fun in that game, but the charger left. From then on I played properly with the Inkbrush user, with the occasional squid dance, greeting or jump to acknowledge our inner squid kids. We won a lot of games, almost all of them. Despite feeling average all day, I went to bed feeling hopeful and chuffed because I played a videogame.